19 Famous Actors You Didn't Know Started on Soap Operas

Feb 1, 2018 at 3:35 p.m. ET
18 Huge Celebs Who Got Their Start on Daytime Soaps
Image: Brian To/Wenn

We love soap operas (they are one of life's greatest guilty pleasures, after all), but when you are engrossed in Days of Our Lives or The Young and the Restless, you're not normally thinking, "Now that's an Academy Award-winning performance!" as you watch all the drama unfold. On the contrary, the fact that the acting is sometimes truly awful is what makes soap operas so addicting. Sometimes, they're so bad, they're good.

But the truth of the matter is, as cheesy as soaps are, they're a serious breeding ground for Hollywood's elite. A ton of sitcom actors, movie stars and pop singers all got their feet wet in appearances on some of our favorite daytime soaps. Everybody's got to start somewhere, right? 

You can hate on soaps all you want — but they've given birth to some pretty serious acting careers.

Originally published April 2015. Updated September 2017.

1 /19: Kim Matula

Image: CBS

1/19 :Kim Matula

2 /19: Demi Moore

18 Huge Celebs Who Got Their Start on Daytime Soaps
Image: ABC Television

2/19 :Demi Moore

3 /19: John Stamos

18 Huge Celebs Who Got Their Start on Daytime Soaps
Image: ABC Television

3/19 :John Stamos

4 /19: Josh Duhamel

18 Huge Celebs Who Got Their Start on Daytime Soaps
Image: ABC Television

4/19 :Josh Duhamel

5 /19: Elizabeth Banks

18 Huge Celebs Who Got Their Start on Daytime Soaps
Image: ABC Television

5/19 :Elizabeth Banks

6 /19: Alec Baldwin

18 Huge Celebs Who Got Their Start on Daytime Soaps
Image: CBS Televison

6/19 :Alec Baldwin

7 /19: Michelle Trachtenberg

18 Huge Celebs Who Got Their Start on Daytime Soaps
Image: ABC Television

7/19 :Michelle Trachtenberg

8 /19: Richard Simmons

18 Huge Celebs Who Got Their Start on Daytime Soaps
Image: ABC Television

8/19 :Richard Simmons

9 /19: Brad Pitt

18 Huge Celebs Who Got Their Start on Daytime Soaps
Image: CBS Television

9/19 :Brad Pitt

10 /19: Julianne Moore

18 Huge Celebs Who Got Their Start on Daytime Soaps
Image: CBS Television

10/19 :Julianne Moore

11 /19: Marisa Tomei

18 Huge Celebs Who Got Their Start on Daytime Soaps
Image: CBS Television

11/19 :Marisa Tomei

12 /19: Tommy Lee Jones

18 Huge Celebs Who Got Their Start on Daytime Soaps
Image: ABC Television

12/19 :Tommy Lee Jones

13 /19: David Hasselhoff

18 Huge Celebs Who Got Their Start on Daytime Soaps
Image: CBS Television

13/19 :David Hasselhoff

14 /19: Ricky Martin

18 Huge Celebs Who Got Their Start on Daytime Soaps
Image: ABC Television

14/19 :Ricky Martin

15 /19: Kevin Bacon

18 Huge Celebs Who Got Their Start on Daytime Soaps
Image: CBS Television

15/19 :Kevin Bacon

16 /19: Meg Ryan

18 Huge Celebs Who Got Their Start on Daytime Soaps
Image: CBS Television

16/19 :Meg Ryan

17 /19: Sarah Michelle Gellar

18 Huge Celebs Who Got Their Start on Daytime Soaps
Image: ABC Television

17/19 :Sarah Michelle Gellar

18 /19: Leonardo DiCaprio

18 Huge Celebs Who Got Their Start on Daytime Soaps
Image: NBC Television

18/19 :Leonardo DiCaprio

19 /19: Robin Wright

18 Huge Celebs Who Got Their Start on Daytime Soaps
Image: NBC Television

19/19 :Robin Wright